"Fashion occupies the unflattering second place in the league of the most polluting industries". (BBC News 2017) The discharges of chemicals in the waters for the coloration of the fabrics generate contamination of important fluvial routes. "Ecohilandes is the result of many years of work and research, trial and error" says Sofia Castillo, co-founder; Ecohilandes' innovation produces fabrics manufactured 50% with PET bottle material and 50% with the waste of fabric of large textile companies, with the result that no chemicals are used in the coloring process.
Queennie Lopez Panssa
JENNIFER TORRES GALEANO
Universidad Externado de Colombia
Gustavo A Yepes López
According to the newspaper "El Diario" of Spain, the world buys 1 million plastic bottles per minute, which end up in the garbage or in the sea, in addition to this; the textile industry is the second most polluting according to the BBC News. Based on this problem and with the idea of continuing in the market, Ecohilandes transformed its process of elaboration of fabrics into a planet friendly system because it contributes to the reuse of 625 thousand plastic bottles per year as raw material (using approximately 25 bottles per finished product).
Sofia Castillo says "At Ecohilandes we had to adapt a traditional textile company that spun 100% cotton to be able to use recyclable materials" all this to produce without using virgin raw materials. At present the company reuses 50 tons of pieces of cloth per year, preventing them from being taken to landfills, additionally uses this waste to color their products, avoiding the use of chemical contaminants in their processes.
After the closing of the border between Venezuela and Colombia the textile industry was in a great crisis because from that country they imported the cotton necessary for their fabrications, "Ecohilandes was born from this crisis because my family depended on this business, therefore we created a method to change the way of manufacturing fabrics" Sofia Castillo, co-founder of Ecohilandes.
"Ecohilandes is a passion for me, I see it as an extension of the family business, in addition we can help many people and especially the environment" Sofia Castillo. The impact generated by this company is mainly the conservation of the environment, because it uses 100% recyclable raw material, taking care of the nearest rivers and avoiding that material like plastic (which takes approximately 1000 years to decompose - the republic newspaper) which generates agglomeration in landfills causing public health problems; in addition it serves as an example for large industries and for the community in general.
"Ecohilandes is a pioneering company in the textile industry thanks to the use of only recyclable material in its production processes" Sofia Castillo, allowing that by using this type of raw material and avoiding coloring processes in its products it is possible to maximize the profitability in the productive process; this generates a product of Good quality that can be offered at a price lower than that of the competition. Currently Ecohilandes not only manufactures fabrics for clothing companies, but also finished product such as sheets, hammocks, ecological bags, among other products for the home; which are available in large stores throughout the country, generating additional income.
The impact that Ecohilandes has on society is the generation of more than 300 direct and indirect jobs for the ESTRELLA - ANTIOQUIA community, among waste pickers, housewives, and garment workers, it offers a source of income and decent work that allow the economic, educational and social development of this community.
Regarding the environment, Ecohilandes encourages the care of natural resources of this region, because it does not generate waste in its water sources, generates awareness of recycling through the reuse of PET bottles, avoiding sanitary problems due to poorly treated waste.
Sofia Castillo Issa, Foreign Trade Coordinator
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La Estrella, Antioquia, Colombia
Business Website: https://www.natuh.co/ecohilandes-2/
Year Founded: 2012
Number of Employees: 11 to 50
Ecohiandes is a textile company located in la estrella - Antioquia (Colombia), which is recognized as a pioneer in the manufacturing process of fabrics with 100% recycled material, “Ecohilandes is the reinvention of the textile industry”, Sofia Castillo co-founder. Echohilandes has positive impact on the environment and the community with the generation of direct and indirect jobs for more than 300 people in the region.